Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death not just in the US, but worldwide. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tobacco causes an estimated seven million deaths around the world, every single year. And for every person who dies, another 30 live with a serious smoking-related illness. Clearly … Continue reading How quitting smoking helps your lungs regenerate; a discovery could lead to new ways to repair damaged lungs; and encouraging news in a stroke recovery trial

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When it comes to using stem cells for therapy you don’t just need to understand what kinds of cell to use, you also need to understand the environment that is best for them. Trying to get stem cells to grow in the wrong environment would be like trying to breed sheep in a pond. It … Continue reading Breakthrough image could lead to better therapies

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In a previous blog post, we discussed new findings in a CIRM supported study at the Salk Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental disorder that comes in broad ranges and primarily affects communication and behavior. This week, a new study, also supported by CIRM, finds that a gene associated with ASD, intellectual disability, … Continue reading CIRM supported study finds that a gene associated with autism influences brain stem cells

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder that comes in broad ranges and primarily affects communication and behavior. Many people with ASD also have macrocephaly, or unusually large heads. Unfortunately, understanding the underlying causes of this disorder and development of potential treatments has been slow. However, Dr. Rusty Gage and his team at the … Continue reading CIRM funded study links rapid brain growth in autism to DNA damage

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This past Thursday the governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) were presented with an update on CIRM’s clinical portfolio, which to date includes 60 clinical trials in various areas including kidney failure, cancer, and other rare diseases.  The full President’s Report gives an update on 15 of these trials, in addition … Continue reading CIRM Board Meeting Highlights Important Updates to Clinical Trials

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We are at a turning point in regenerative medicine as the first wave of treatments have obtained FDA approval. But at the same time as we see the advance of scientifically rigorous research and regulated products we are also witnessing the continued proliferation of “unproven treatments.” This dueling environment can be overwhelming and distracting to … Continue reading Enabling the Best Choice for Patients: The Need for Effective Patient Navigation

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CIRM funds a lot of research and all of it has life-saving potential. But every once in a while you come across a story about someone benefiting from CIRM-supported research that highlights why the work we do is so important. This story is about a brilliant researcher at UC San Diego developing a treatment for … Continue reading ‘A Tornado at the Front Door, a Tsunami at the Back Door’

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In 2019, there were over 23,000 kidney transplants in the United States, according to figures from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). These transplants can be lifesaving, but the donated organ can be perceived as a foreign invader by the patient’s immune system and attacked. In order to protect the organ from attack, transplant … Continue reading Donor blood stem cells and T cells could help patients wean off immunosuppressive drugs after organ transplant

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A few years ago, Brenden Whittaker was running out of time. Brenden was born with a rare condition called x-linked chronic granulomatous disease or XCGD. It meant he lacked a critical part of his immune system that protects against bacterial or fungal infections. Over 22 years Brenden was in and out of the hospital hundreds … Continue reading Stem Cell/Gene Therapy combo heals patients battling rare disorder

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Snake venom can be deadly without proper treatment. Interestingly enough, it may also hold the key for treatments against pain, high blood pressure, and cancer according to one analysis. Despite this, scientists still do not understand much about the biology behind the wide range of different snake venoms, which can make it challenging to develop … Continue reading Tiny organs grown from snake stem cells produce real venom

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